I went to a funeral for a little child the other day and I was struck at how powerful music truly is. Sometimes, being a musician, I wonder if I am too close to it, in a way… I’ve always understood how I feel — music is my ‘safe place,’ my haven of peace when the world gets too rough. I’m not a religious person though I am a spiritual one, and music puts me back in touch with the wonderful forces of the higher power that makes this world spin. Music restores my harmony (no pun intended).
But I’ve never really paused to think how music affects others.
During the musical portion of the service, I saw the entire congregation rise — not in a scripted maneuver, but in response to the beauty of the song filling the rafters. Feeling music reach inside me much as it reached inside everyone else and pulled them to their feet brought tears to my eyes. The song knew no borders, it’s message of peace and love knew no hesitations, no doubt. And everyone rose to greet it. Everyone heard its call, and answered… For a few, wonderful minutes, everyone in that room sang together, held out hands to one another, helped one another. The building literally seemed to vibrate with the strength of solidarity between us. No one was left out.
How can there be so much pettiness, so much ugliness, and hurt and hatred with something so good and so powerful as music? If all it takes is one song to grab every soul by the ear, if all it takes is one verse to reach in and change people for the better, remind them of the beauty we all have inside… How can any of that bad stuff survive? We wander around and wonder where we went wrong, why life is heading so far south… We’ve lost sight of what’s important. Of what’s good. Of what’s right, and true, and the sad part is, it’s right in front of us and it’s been there the whole time.
I’m not foolish nor idealistic enough to think that all the woes in the world can be fixed with a song. Life isn’t nearly that simple.
But it makes me think: when did we stop listening? When did we decide that the good parts of our soul aren’t worth the fight?
When did we give up hope?